Archive for February, 2009

Malygos Stomped… Again

Threat still an issue.

So, I’m trying to wrap my mind around this. On my screen, I have Omen tucked nicely underneath my character’s tiger toes and above my orderly block of ‘Oh Sh*t’ buttons. It’s right there, front and center, I’m keeping an eye on it ALL THE TIME.

Just this week, however, I’ve been noticing that our dps have been creeping up closer and closer to the threshold I set for threat. I saw this on Anub’Rekhan, on Malygos 10-man, Grand Widow Faerlina, Patchwerk, and now again on Malygos 25-man.

I guess it’s to be expected during Malygos. After all, ranged casters can still explode things during the vortex with instant-cast spells. Even though I’m always mashing my attack rotation (242342348234234238423423), I’m also always getting ‘out of range’ errors. Suffice to say, no threat is being generated.

Things in this fight are compounded by the fact that I must be CONSTANTLY vigilant about where the sparks are coming from. We cluster our raid in the center of his platform and it’s my job to make sure the raid is always between the source of the sparks and Malygos. So what would normally be a ‘sit and generate gobs of threat’ encounter, is turned into a kite-scramble while waddling backwards, fretting about the random dps or healer that’s standing where I want to go and still trying to stay ahead of the dps on threat.

It’s certainly a challenge (and one I rather enjoy).

So yes, on Malygos, these issues are expected. But what about Anub’Rekhan, Grand Widow, and Patchwerk? Those are most definitely ‘sit and piss off the boss’ fights.

I’m wondering, has anybody else noticed a more difficult time staying ahead on threat? I never really payed attention to my actual Threat Per Second, I only kept an eye on the general size of the gap between my threat and that of the DPS.

That gap, within the past two weeks, has closed alarmingly fast.

Of course, this could all be a result of my almost insta-epic experience, one compounded by my status as not only a Barfly, but one of two physical leather-weareres and being a tank. (perfect storm here for loot to fall like rain). It could be a case of me getting the best of the best early on and now that the DPS are getting their hard-earned epics they’re starting to encroach on my ‘huuuuuuge tracks of [aggro] land’.

*ahem*

But I don’t think our dps has increased all that signifigantly within proportion.

Which once again leads me to wonder…

what’s wrong with my threat?

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Sorry, I Lied…

*shifty eyes*

I actually did get a good amount of WoW-time in over the weekend. In fact, I must confess that I’ve fallen head-over-heels in love with my baby shammy. When I sat down on Sunday she was a mere level 37, and the the time I went to bed that night I’d ground her all the way to 41.

And NO, I didn’t do it through dungeon runs. That day I had Mr Tigerfeet take me once through Zul’Farak, and then a nice pally-man took me through Cathedral. I got 1/3 of a level from ZF, and only about 1/5 of a level from SM Cath. That still leaves at least 3 1/2 levels I did ALL BY MYSELF!

I’m usually pretty against running low levels through stuff. I don’t like being powerleveled and I don’t like doing it for others. I made a slight exception this time though because my quests were starting to get ridiculous. When everything is orange and red you know you need to get some leveling from elsewhere.

Mudsprocket helped save my bacon on that score, and I’m rather chagrined to notice that, after the fact, I had completely forgotten about the Arathi Highlands. D’oh.

Either way, Shaman = love. I’m leveling enhancement and enjoying every minute of it. There was a streach of a few levels down in my early 30s where I’d have to sit and drink after every fight. It was getting to be frustrating, but then Atrides came up and thwapped me for using Lightning Shield instead of Water Shield.

I made the suggested change and now, not only do I have no down-time, I can successfully out-last just about anything. No, really, I feel like a freaking Paladin in all their roach-ey glory.

Last night, though… was absolutely great.

I wasn’t on Rainseeker (my shaman), I was instead playing Tigerfeet. I’d logged on with the intent to futz around with some dailies and then maybe hop over to Rain later and continuing leveling her.

My guild, however, needed me. I’m such a sucker for being needed.

They were wrapping up Naxx-10 and needed another tank. Well sure, I figured, I’ll go. I don’t have to be happy or cheerful, I just have to tank stuff. See, last night I’d gotten one of my random fits of depression. The kind where you start to wonder what’s the point in anything if you can’t leave a lasting impression on the world. The best lasting impression to me are children, the ultimate form of creation, the ultimate sacrafice of love. I can’t have children though, so sometimes the prospect of working diligently away at my life, accruing things and building a wholesome home (forever to remain empty), gets me down. It always seems to happen at once. A couple of guildies we’d had take a break because of a new baby have started playing again, then yesterday the MOTD urged us to congratulate one of our shamans on his new progeny, and Phae is setting down her blog because of her impending blessing…

You see? When it rains it pours.

So last night I was just in a blah kind of ‘feel-sorry-for-myself’ mood. What a wonderful thing it is to be able to escape.

So I tanked the Military wing, my least favorite, but I did it anyway. Then we got to Saph and, oops, nobody had their frost resist gear with them. We decided to say ‘screw it’ and killed him without the FR gear. One dead dragon later and we were passing out our membership cards for the ‘100 club’.

Grats from the guild and then on to KT. Hey, we’re on a roll tonight, why don’t we try his achievement too? That was actually pretty fun. Kill 18 abominations before phase 2.

We didn’t have any specific plan apart from pull the A-bombs and see what happened. We were very scared that when we’d pull a group of a-boms we’d get whatever else was lurking in the corner along with. Nope, that’s not the case. Range-pull an abom and you’ll get the 3 in the corner and nothing more.

So, we’d pull a group, kill them, then pull another. About 3-4 pulls in it dawned on me that nobody was counting how many aboms we were killing. Oops. Oh well, we’ve gone too far now, let’s just get down as many as we can and hope that it’s enough. Pull, tank, kill kill kill, pull, tank, kill kill kill, lather rinse repeat.

Phase two I just did my best to stay out of the way and toss hots where I could. Phase three I picked up the big bug-men and then down went KT aaaaaaand. We Just Couldn’t Get Enough. Like I said, we don’t know how many we killed, but we always had an extra group on us. It made phase one a lot more fun and interesting for tanking. I’m hot sure how dps felt about it, they certainly did a good job of keeping the other adds in check along with getting the aboms down.

Well, ok, Naxx is dead, we’ve all got two new achievements, now what?

Sarth Sarth!

But I said, what about Malygos? We haven’t killed him on 10-man yet…

Needless to say, everyone loved this idea, so off to Malygos we went!

First try was a very good solid attempt except we didn’t make the enrage timer. We were at 2 minutes by the time we got to phase 3, and I was having some difficult aggro issues. One of our locks got 1-shotted because her dots ticked her up above my threat during the vortex.

I must do something about this. The second time we killed him, but she was still holding way back. This wasn’t a question of not having enough dps, it was a question of the tank not generating enough threat. This hasn’t been something I’ve had to deal with since BC when I was tanking in Kara for a group that way-outgeared me and all I had was a Braxis Staff of Slumber! That was rough.

Anyway, we killed Malygos, but not before he killed us.

Wait,

What?

No… REALLY! We were all dead!

Don’t believe me?

Click for Larger

Click for Larger

My raid frames are on the left, underneat my character frame (Yes I’m using default, ooooh the ghetto!)

It’s a nice shot if I do say so myself, You see Maly all *omgwtfbbq’d!* falling out of the sky, my pointer is hovering on him and we know that yes he is, indeed, skinnable, we’ve got the achievement in there and… of course, we see that everyone is, indeed, quite dead.

Hilarity, pure hilarity. Plus, by this time, I was most certainly not feeling a bit depressed! In fact, I got up this morning and got some exercizing done this morning. There’s just something about physical exertion that starts your day out right, really!

So Close… SO close…

Free your mind! (for those of you that remember Foamy the Rabid Squirrel and his matrix spoof…)

We almost took out Sarth 2D. We were SO CLOSE!

OH!

It’s painful to think about this morning, but so so close. I think we’ve still got people dying to voids and fire walls. Picking up adds is a terrible, awful job and one which, thankfully, I wasn’t in charge of last night.

We had a Warrior on Sarth, myself on Tenebron and Vesperon, and then we had our Death Knight was doing double-duty on whelps and embers. Eventually we had one of our hunters swap out for his warrior and we tried it with four tanks. I think that alleviated some of the issues, but we kept loosing healers.

We are, however, very VERY close.

The heartening part about last night was the focus and dedication of everyone involved. On Wednesday we had one of those ‘backsliding’ nights. You know the kind, most everyone has killed these bosses 2, 3, 10 times already. They’re getting bored, they’re getting inattentive, sloppy, etc. We had a very sloppy night on Wednesday.

But everyone pulled together for last night.

We got through Malygos pretty quickly (3rd times a charm) and then spent the rest of the night working on Sarth 2D. We went in with 23 people as well but, as the night progressed, a couple more members logged on and were summarily yanked into the instance.

I think they did rather well! In fact, for one of our raiders, Sarth 2D was his first experience in 25-man raiding! He-hey buddeh! Welcome to the Jungle!

We’ve got Fun & Games 😀

———-

In other news, I bottled some Kombucha… it’s making a new SCOBY! D’oh! I guess those are prolific little buggers!

I don’t expect to get much WoW-ing in this weekend either, got a comic to work on 😀 /cheer

I Hate You So Hard!

My husband is a guild leader. His guild is not <Unemployed>. I do not have any kind of presence in his guild apart from a smattering of alts and some amiable vent-chatter. When we left our original guild on Hydraxis, I moved to <Unemployed>, and he resurrected our old guild from Scilla.

I’m actually asked, rather often, why we don’t guild together. We’re married right? We love each other, we live together, we play WoW together! Why would we ever not want to guild together?

Well, part of it is that we’re together for so much, but a larger part is that we both want different things out of a game. We’re both competitive and enjoy raiding. Being in a guild of friendly and helpful people with whom I enjoy spending time is important to me.

It’s not, however, important to him. He runs his guild with a very heavy ‘get stuff done!’ mentality. Granted, they certainly get stuff done. Pre-BC they cleared out T4 within 2 months of forming (their members were by and large fresh 70s too). They’ve also been getting a lot of attention from some of the top guilds on our server. He networks, and agressively builds his ranks and hones his raiding team into a finely-tooled machine of raiding destruction.

In his words, “We’re not here to make friends, we’re here to kill bosses.”

He LOVES it. I, however, do not. That attitude can attract some rather rough personality types. I’m sure you know the kind, arrogant, egotistical, prone to talking out their rear and generally rubbing everyone the wrong way.

Well, rubbing ME the wrong way at least. I’ve got a number of friends in his guild, which is why I have my alts stationed there and I hang around in vent. There is one person, however, that I just can’t stand.

He’s heavy-handed, domineering, condescending, bigoted, and nurtures a completely unfounded hatred of all things druid. Hate hate hate! OOOOH I hate you! Stop telling me how much bears suck, stop telling me about how all bears should /uninstall, just stop stop STOP!

Ok, got that out of my system, now…

<Unemployed> also has some great PR policies. I ran in a group with this fellow yesterday. We did Heroic Culling of Stratholme. I got to come along as DPS. Predictably, I was bottom of the charts. I pulled about 1,600, the tank did about 1,500, and I generally tried to keep a low profile lest he decide to start complaining about kitty druids as well as bears. (I was cat-geared, bear-specced, hence the abysmal numbers)

Oh yeah, that PR policy. Well, it’s in our rules that we don’t expect everyone to like everybody else. It’s not going to happen, and it’s not realistic to expect it to happen. I like to pride myself on having a wide range of tolerance. If someone pisses me off I try to imagine where they’re coming from and at least try to get along. You don’t have to like someone, but you do have to treat them with respect.

Towards the end of the run, after gritting my teeth for ~ 20 minutes, resisting the urge to tell him exactly what I thought of his attitude, we killed the optional boss.

We made the timer.

The mout dropped.

We rolled.

I won.

Ok, sure, it was just the favor of the RNG, but it sure felt like someone was leaning down and patting my head for being such a good sport. I then proceeded to spend the rest of the day prancing around on my VERY FIRST flying mount!

I’m still waiting for that golden opportunity to come along though, where I’m tanking, and this fellow is in my group, and he gets to see first-hand that I am, indeed, worth a damn.

So, sir, I bite my thumb at you.

bring it!

/Regurgitate

Ooh ooh ooh! ULDUAR NEWZ! YAYZ!

Here it is: http://www.wow-europe.com/en/info/underdev/3p1/ulduar.xml

See below for my thoughts on specific aspects.

Beneath ancient Ulduar, the Old God of death lies, whispering…. Tread carefully, or his prison will become your tomb.

Convenient that we’ll be conquering Death before attempting to take out Arthas. Should make that job much easier, I’d expect.

Ulduar is set to blow players away with gorgeous setpieces, sprawling battlefields, and innovative boss encounters. Ulduar’s design aims to provide a fun, unique, and innovative raid experience, but it also includes additional challenges – and rewards – for seasoned raiders. In this sneak-peek at World of Warcraft’s newest raid dungeon, we’ll take a look at some of the new content that makes Ulduar rise above the crop of amazing dungeons already available in World of Warcraft.

(Emphasis added) hype, hype, look I found the scale tool, we’ll see, I’d better look freaking leet, e-peen stroking… moving on.

The most obvious difference between Ulduar and its predecessors is that the dungeon actually comprises two separate raid areas.

Lies, they did that in AQ. The difference here is that you must go THROUGH the first area to get to the second. Oh wait, it’s kinda like attunements, but with less opportunity to whine I suppose. (I am pro-attunement btw)

You and your friends will have to use these [siege] vehicles wisely to break through Ulduar’s defenses.

Ok, that sounds pretty cool.

A mix of motorcycles, demolishers, and siege engines will be at your disposal, each granting unique abilities to the pilot and the passenger.

Which one plays like a Druid?

demolisher passengers can load themselves into the vehicle’s catapult so that the pilot can launch them into the distance.

Ka-CHUNK – MOOOOO00000000ooooooooooooo……….

Mimiron built the Flame Leviathan as part of the V0-L7R-0N weapons platform, wh-

No, stop right there. One moment…

*ahem*

VOLTRON!

*cough* moving on.

Normal spells and abilities won’t be enough to take down this juggernaut

Cat is not for FITE anymore? /sniff.

After wearing the massive war machine down, you will have to launch players onto the tank’s back to destroy its defense turrets and sabotage the Leviathan before you can move on.

Phase 3, now with less chaotic flapping, enjoy the flying cows instead.

Patch 3.1 will hit the Public Test Realms very soon, so you will be able to see for yourself what other challenges await beyond the gates of ancient Ulduar.

DAMMIT!

No, really, DAMN YOU! That pisses me the HELL OFF.

Come on, you want to release new content, ESPECIALLY a new raid, do your OWN playtesting of the damn instance. I am paying YOU. How dare you perform open playtesting of new raid content.

I have neither the time, nor the guild resources available, to partake in playtesting Ulduar. I was all kinds of excited that we’d all be waiting at the doors to Ulduar. On Tuesday night after 3.1 dropped we’d go in with the other big-name guilds on our server and NOBODY would know what was going on.

Finally, first kills could be awarded on the basis of intelligence and adaptability.

Now though, with a public playtest of Ulduar….

damn you.

Oh Wait, I’m Supposed to CHECK my E-mail, Aren’t I?

So, I was planning on posting an update on Operation Get Shit Done, when I realised that I haven’t checked my SAC-Flavored e-mail in… well… for-EVAR.

So I checked it and found this:

Didja see didja see? I’m in there in the middle! *hums her little diddy* The creativity of children never ceaces to amaze me, she’s got a cute little something to say about every kitten in those pictures! Quite entertaining, thank you Mr. Jones 😀

and me… tell each other fairy tales and we stare at the beautiful women, she’s lookin’ at you

oh no no she’s lookin’ at m—

*ahem* Take me to karaoke and you bet your britches I’ll be singin’ that.

ANY-hoo, I don’t have any WoW-related updates, apart from it’s Tuesday and you probably can’t log on.

Operation Get Shit Done is going pretty well, actually. It’s continued presence in my life after more than a week is nothing short of a miracle, so I’m not going to beat myself up about the root beer bottles on my computer desk or the laundry still in the dryer, or the fact that my kombucha seems to have developed a mold 😦

Instead I’ll be all excited about dishes getting done and the grand re-launching of my online comic!

YAAAAAAAAAAY! /throw confetti

Now, here’s where my e-mail comes into play. I’ve re-launched my comic very aaaah, candidly. It’s completely Non-WoW-related, a story that has been evolving since 2004-ish. (half-dragon elf pirates has turned into post-apocalyptic tribal aliens with magic)

Anyway, I’ve only got the cover, but if you really want to be able to keep an eye on it you’ll have to e-mail me asking for the link. (e-mail can be found in my ‘about’ page)

On another note, does anyone know how to set up e-mail forwarding with g-mail, so something like this doesn’t happen again? I run 3 different e-mail addresses and sometimes forget to check the one for this site. Figured it out, yay. You may now all rest assured that I will get (and respond to) your e-mails in a timely manner 🙂

Thanks!

This has been a Secret Agent Cat Public Service Announcement, you may now resume ripping faces. 😉

Drop & Give Me 50!

Go run the last boss in AN, make sure everyone survives. Go kill the first boss in UK without breaking any Ice Blocks. Go kill the second boss in AK and she had better not get ANY kind of buff from her watchers. Go get your achievements for Skadi, stay the HELL out of the ice breath! Go do your Wyrmrest Dailies… DAILY! Go tank Halls of Stone, no I don’t care if you’re a druid and terribad at AoE tanking, do it anyway!

Go do all these things, if you weren’t on heroic, you’re doin’ it wrong, go and do it again.

Nobody was born to raid. There isn’t a single person who was able to step into raiding, WoW, any game, or any thing, and immediately find themselves an expert at it. No, I’m pretty sure that this is an unqualified absolute.

There are some people who learn more quickly than others. Sometimes a person’s learning curve will be so quick that it seems like they’ve picked it up immediately, but trust me, there was a curve.

In a guild raiding environment, expecially with 25 people, the raid lead(ers) always have to keep an eye on the fight, what they are doing, and what everyone else is doing so that they can adequately flush out problems.

Problem is, there’s only so many times you can say “Stop standing in the fire” before you have to try something else.

It would seem to me, that nobody stands in the fire on purpose. Some people don’t have the best reaction time, some people are inattentive, sometimes it’s even just bad luck! In order to really get people to quit standing in the fire is to help them find out why they keep standing in the fire, so that the problem can be avoided in the future.

If it’s a problem of reaction time or attentiveness, then that person needs to practice. Problem is, they can’t practice unless they’re in the raid, and 24 other people get socked with repair bills while they learn and hone their skills…. right?

WRONG!

We’ve got these wonderful little things called Heroic instances, right? We’ve also got a number of achievements for these instances, many of which involve increased gear, skill, focus, dedication…. you get the idea.

Don’t think of heroic achievements as useless title-mongering, use them as tools to help train your guildmates who might lack necessary raid skills. It’s a lot easier to get a group of 5 people to agree to run a single boss ten times than it is to get a group of 25 to do the same thing.

Here’s some specifics on the fights I listed at the start of the post, and why I mentioned them specifically:

  • Azjol’Nerub, the last boss is wonderful practice for environmental and boss awareness. It’s also a good fight for running around and picking up adds. This boss, I think, is THE best way to practice for Sartharion with drakes, weather you’re tanking, dpsing, or healing. Watch his cast bar, get AWAY from the pound. Watch the ground and get away from the rocks so you don’t get spiked. Make sure you pick up the adds, if you’ve got an add, bring it to your tank, cleanse the poison (or heal through). It’s a challenging encounter, but VERY good practice for even more challenging encounters.
  • The first boss in Utgarde Keep will toss out Ice Blocks. You can attack your teammates and free them, similar to the Demon Chains on Illhoof in Kharazan. However, if you leave your teammates ice-blocked you’ve got a mechanic similar to Kel’Thuzad! In fact, it’s even more challenging than taking on KT because you’ve only got 5 people. If your healer gets blocked you could be in a very bad situation. Learn to work around it and KT ain’t got nothin’ on you.
  • Making sure the second boss in Ahn’Kahet: Old Kingdom doesn’t get any buff from her watchers is an excellent test of burst-DPS. You have to kill them, and kill them FAST or she gets a rather nasty buff- wait, this sounds familiar, almost like dealing with sparks on the Malygos fight? Ding.
  • Aaaah Skadi, you sick SoB. Second boss in Utgarde Pinnacle. Fight your way up a gauntlet while dodging shooting ice breaths…. yeah, don’t stand in the ‘fire’.
  • The Wyrmrest Daily, Aces High or something. I personally haven’t done it (still working on that chain akshully). However, this fight is direct training for Malygos on phase 3. Things can get a little chatoic when you’ve got 25 dragons all flapping around and can’t see anything and are getting vertigo from the spinning sky. Trust me, it helps to know what you’re doing ahead-of-time.
  • The last one is for me. Once again I’m on flame-duty for Sartharion. I’ll tell you what, it’s rough. It’s a HARD job to do. I’ve found though, that with practice I can overcome a Druid’s shortcomings and do the job well enough. Doing that stupid gauntlet thing in HoS though is great for practice.